Closed-Loop Solution for Difficult to Recycled Multi-Layer Plastic Films

Multi-Layer Film Recycling Process from Coperion Avoids Production Waste

Stuttgart based plastics manufacturing, processing, handling and recycling equipment manufacturer, Coperion GmbH, is implementing a closed-loop concept for the production of flexible multi-layer film.

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Within the ZSK Mc18 twin screw extruder, shredded production waste is processed such that it can be added back into the multi-layer film production process — at consistently high-end product quality.

Stuttgart based plastics manufacturing, processing, handling and recycling equipment manufacturer, Coperion GmbH, is implementing a closed-loop concept for the production of flexible multi-layer film.

According to the company, recycling multi-layer film has long posed a challenge since such films can only be reclaimed in very complicated ways and not without residues. Now, however, it said that it has developed a closed-loop approach solution in which up to 100% of multi-layer film production waste can be re-processed and fed back into the production process in a closed-loop.

Closed Loop Using the Most Advanced Technologies
Coperion explained that multi-layer film waste produced during the production process is shredded as a first step, before it is fed into the ZSK extruder via pneumatic conveying and highly accurate feeding from Coperion K-Tron.

There, the material is homogenized and devolatilised with very high intensity in the co-rotating ZSK Mc18 twin screw extruder. Within the extruder, dispersion and devolatilization performance are crucial to end product quality — with gentle product handling and very good mixing behavior even at very high throughput rates, thus achieving consistently high product quality.

Following homogenisation in the ZSK extruder, in the closed-loop concept, the recycled material is added back into the multi-layer film production process; with no quality loss and the proportion of added recyclate is very high. Multi-layer film manufacturing thus takes place sustainably, highly efficiently, and resource-friendly with the aid of advanced technologies.

“Sustainability is becoming more and more important, and the topic of the circular economy is moving further into the foreground for companies – and that is much more so for multi-layer film producers,” commented Peter von Hoffmann, General Manager of Business Unit Engineering Plastics & Special Applications at Coperion.

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